Susan Scheff v. Psyborgue

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

07/31/2008

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Switzerland

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Susan Scheff, a self-described “parent advocate” who “assists parents of troubled teens research and identify programs and schools that can assist their troubled teens in getting back on track to a healthy, productive lifestyle” and the publisher of www.suescheff.com, filed an administrative complaint with... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Michael Crawford (aka Psyborgue)

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Florida

Location of Party: 

  • France

Legal Counsel: 

Pro se
Description

Susan Scheff, a self-described “parent advocate” who “assists parents of troubled teens research and identify programs and schools that can assist their troubled teens in getting back on track to a healthy, productive lifestyle” and the publisher of www.suescheff.com, filed an administrative complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center against "Psyborgue" pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). (The UDRP is a policy that website operators automatically agree to when they register a domain name; the policy enables trademark owners to initiate an administrative proceeding challenging the registration of a domain name in "bad faith.") 

"Psyborgue" is the name Michael Crawford used to register the domain name "sueschefftruth.com."  Mr. Crawford, who represented himself in the WIPO action, stated in a declaration that he registered the domain name primarily to "provide information to the public regarding Sue Scheff, her company PURE, and the quality of services offered under the name free of charge to parents."  According to the WIPO administrative panel:

The website associated with the Domain Name posts Mr. Crawford’s blog comments, media articles, court documents, and postings by readers concerning [Sue Scheff]. Typical postings question [her] objectivity, assert that she or her daughter have financial ties to some of the institutions and programs that [she] recommends to parents, and allege that some of these programs have been implicated in charges of child abuse or neglect.  A disclaimer at the head of the website advises, “This site is not endorsed by or affiliated with Sue Scheff™.

The WIPO panel denied Scheff's complaint, finding that Mr. Crawford was making a legitimate, nomcommercial fair use of the domain name for purposes of criticism.  The panel indicated that "[t]o the extent the Complaint may be read as suggesting that the Respondent registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith because his purpose was to defame the Complainant, such a claim is essentially outside the scope of the Policy."

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Subject Area: 

  • Trademark
  • Gripe Sites
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Switzerland

Source of Law: 

  • United States
  • International

Court Name: 

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

Court Type: 

Administrative

Case Number: 

D2008-1177
CMLP Information (Private)

Threat Source: 

User Submission Form